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Currently (October 2022) Research Scientist at Vaccitech Ltd, Harwell, UK

Research Assistant

Functional genomics of Type 2 Diabetes

lawrence-photo.jpegI am currently working with samples from Abu Dhabi trying to understand the underlying genetic reasons for a high incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in the Emiratis population (United Arab Emirates).  Processing DNA from blood samples and then analysing the genome using high throughput sequencing (HTseq) we will identify potential disease causing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Once identified, these will be tested using genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/-associated protein-9 nuclease) and the biological effects of these changes will be characterised.

I obtained my B.Sc. (Hons) from the University of Hull followed by my Masters of Research (M.Res) from the University of York. I then spent fifteen years at The Pirbright Institute (formerly the Institute for Animal Health, Compton site) generating Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones of Marek’s Disease Virus (MDV).  These BAC clones were then mutated using bacterial recombination techniques to generate both knock-in and knock-out mutants. The main focus of these studies was to generate multivalent vaccine strains of MDV in order to vaccinate poultry against multiple diseases including MDV.